Mugsy has been under a bit of a dark cloud lately. My father passed away this month as my dog (my fur baby of 16 years), some of our other staff has family in the hospital or have been sick themselves and it has simply been a rough start to a busy season. We have worked hard to keep client work moving despite all the issues and all things considered the team has really come through and proven how absolutely amazing it really is.
It used to be just one “Mugsy”, then we were the Mugsy 4, but we’ve grown to 10 talented and incredible staff members and every single person came through during the hard times, proving how much this team will have to celebrate in the good times.
What kept us going? Below is what we’ve focused on to get through the month. We’d love to hear your techniques for when you’re feeling less motivated and inspired than usual too! Tell us in the comments below.
1. An emergency plan. There is nothing more motivational than having a plan. Knowing what needs to be done step-by-step and who needs to do it is key when situations are out of the ordinary. We are a small firm but we have a hurricane plan, a holiday plan (we close during Christmas to New Years but keep client work going), and when my dad got sick with cancer we made the inevitable “when Emily is out of the office for an extended period of time” plan. It worked and we accomplished more than anyone could imagine over the last few weeks despite it all.
2. A New Office. Kind of like after a break-up when you cut your hair, we decided in August that a new office was in order. We’ve grown and we need the space, and the universe handed us a beautiful one. We move in this week and we are so excited. It has definitely been a big motivation to keep the work going. Now I don’t think everyone should run out and move when they hit a slump, but a change – perhaps a somewhat big one – might just be what is needed to get your team going again. We also highly recommend escape rooms. We represent an incredible one in Boca Raton, but I am sure there are plenty by you too. It’s a great team building activity that gets everyone working together while having some fun.
3. Our Clients. Our motto at Mugsy is to NEVER work with clients we don’t like and respect and whose personalities are a good match for what we do here. We don’t take on accounts just for the money and we vet our clients thoroughly before signing long term contracts to ensure they are the right fit for us as much as us for them. We work HARD for our clients and we only want to do that for people and brands we care about with stories we want to tell the world about. In turn, they care back and have been so understanding during the month, reaching out, sending cards, flowers and condolences. It has truly shown that we have found the right path in this crazy industry.
4. Learning Something New. On the day that everyone felt down and out here at Mugsy we had two choices. Push everyone and make them work or close for the day. So we let clients know and shut down early, but instead of a mid day nap, everyone decided to order lunch and we watched YouTube videos on new programs we’ve been wanting to learn. We made it fun, everyone got to pick some new things to check out and we learned something that will be useful to the success of our clients in the future. Just doing SOMETHING made us feel better about our inner desire to do NOTHING. Also, every time we learned something, we wanted to try it- so we ended up working more, but ENJOYING it!
5. The Internet. Finally, laughter is the best medicine and nothing gets the Mugsy office motivated more than memes and funny videos and since we are ALWAYS on social media for clients, we see a lot of them. Our go-to videos to perk up the mood in the office range from bad lip reading to singing goats to Tik Tok faves, but for some reason this emu with arms really had me giggling (and I truly HATE ostriches and emus so the fact that it made ME laugh says a lot!). Enjoy!
Pitching media in a hurricane is always a strange experience. Half our team is hunkering down while the rest of us are counting our lucky stars that Hurricane Dorian turned when it did, and ALL of us are looking for ways we can donate and support the Bahamas. At the same time, we have clients who are out of state and out of the country who are still doing news worthy things we need to let media know about, and so this week we’ve found ourselves pitching in a storm.
The truth is – pitching during a hurricane is almost easier than usual. Less people working = less email competition. Plus you have a ready to go starter line to create some rapport with the reporter such as “Are you ready for this storm?” or for those outside the area – “We are getting ready for the hurricane, so we’re hoping to catch you before we possibly lose power here!”.
With some savvy social media research you can build some great relationships during a hurricane as well. News media reporters will be online more to check-in and their response time may be quicker. Just remember to keep your conversations relevant and DON’T PITCH them on social – just relationship build. The pitching will come.
Overall, publicists are like the U.S. mail service – not rain nor snow nor gloom of night (nor hurricane!) shall stop us from giving the best service possible for our clients. PR’s Honor.
Movies have the ability to bring us on a rollercoaster ride of emotion so intense we laugh, we cry, and sometimes we even need a nap after. And sometimes – they can also bring out the beast of inspiration. Movies can have an impact that lasts for a lifetime, and while we have so many conversations in the office, this has been one of my favorites, which is why I asked to write this post. The question was asked about what movie makes us want to work harder and do better and the answers were as eclectic as our group is.
A true movie buff, she’s been making a list of “must watch films” for me for years that we have slowly been checking off, yet rapidly adding to as well, but when asked for the most inspiring movie, she said “Chef” without hesitation. A beautiful movie showing how a person with enough passion (and a rough enough day) can create something beautiful.
“The movie that makes me inspired at work is The First Wives Club. This fierce group of college best friends who went their separate ways in life were brought back together by tragedy. As they were reconnecting, they realized each of them had a unique talent or skill that would be beneficial in helping women like themselves, and the friend they lost. It rekindled their friendship, and they created something amazing as a legacy to their friendship. I always strive to find that kind of passion in all the work I do.“
When asked this question, he immediately jumped at Back to the Future. His point was that it shows how your actions today build on your future. The better work we do now, the further we can push our ourselves down the road! Such a great point!
The Devil Wears Prada has so many levels of possible inspiration. If you look at the plot of the movie and how one person can endure so much with passion and tenacity as the only driving force, nothing could stop you in the business world. If you look at the quality of the writing and acting, it sets a high standard that can be achieved. No matter how you view this movie it is a great one!
The most surprising (but my favorite) entry on this list was Hitch. I used to watch this movie on repeat, and there’s this scene when Hitch realizes that the truth in his own advice, “They want the real you.” Applied to every day and every aspect alone it is a great inspiration to be AUTHENTIC in all you do (the motto here at Mugsy). But that’s not why Ryan chose it. He says that he applies the dating advice Hitch gives into his everyday interactions with people. Totally explains why clients say he’s so likeable!
Now it's Your turn!
Share your favorite, most work-inspiring movie in the coments, and I will share mine too!
Man it has been a rough one. Two mass shootings in 24 hours definitely shook our office, as I am sure it has done to many of you, and it is about all we are talking about today. Since I don’t think we can add anything new on that conversation other than our deep desire for a BIG CHANGE, we are sticking to some smile inducing, really unique and inspiring stories we’ve been reading about. Let us know what you’ve found that makes you say “WOW” too. We love to receive shared links that we can share to our followers too! Have a wonderful rest of your week!
Talk about a dirt cheap scam. A man made over $300K returning DIRT to Amazon. This made the inner Neil Caffrey in us smile because of how long this con went on. It makes us wonder why Amazon doesn’t have people processing returns more quickly, and also – what does this guys yard look like? All things to think about at 3am…
We all have dreams of going into space, but how about colonizing Mars? According to Georgr Dvorsky, not in our lifetimes. There’s no water, no atmosphere; we would have to change the land (known as terraforming.) Even the gravity is different, however the idea of instantly weighing less sounded appealing to us! Maybe one day we can trade Slim Fast for spaceships. 😉
Since we can’t colonize Mars, it is a good thing corporations are doing more to help us save Earth. Cutting ties with the plastics lobby is the first step in the right direction. It is a hard battle with a lot left to fight, but its a solid foundation to start with!
Coincidentally, we all saw the Lion King over the weekend. After many deep discussions, the movie was considered a success among the office, though there was a conversation about whether or not Beyonce is a good actress. What do you think? I think the quality of the movie was truly incredible and shows how far movie technology has come. There were some updates, which is always a risk, but in my opinion, they all paid off. Which live action Disney remake is YOUR favorite?
A new ad for In-N-Out? Some people thought so, and we thought it was pretty creative, but here is the REAL story behind that lone burger from California found in the streets of NYC.
Aliens and outer space are a consistent topic in the office. Half the staff truly believe in life on other planets, some aren’t sure, and I am certain there’s one or two signed up to go storm Area 51. We love that Elon Musk is trying to get into space. When people who have the money and intelligence to try to better the world experiment like this, we all benefit. Even though this test was failure, I’m sure we will be reaping so many more benefits in other places. Keep on keeping on, Elon.
Since we are a creative office, we always have something weird or fun floating around. Since we have some new luxury lifestyle clients we’ve been doing some fashion research and happily, this video popped up again. Shiny is a reminder that even every day things like clothing can be used to tell a story. It definitely makes me reconsider laundry day. 😉
It is hard to be a business owner. When you have a family, and particularly little ones who don’t understand why work is needed instead of play time, it can feel especially guilt inducing. The balance of work vs. life gets tough for everyone so any advice can help, and that is why I felt so grateful to have my quote included in this piece on Swaay.com.
This is How These Founders Are Overcoming “Entrepreneur Guilt”
by Shavani Mangar
Everyone experiences feelings of guilt, but what happens when those feelings begin interfering with your work and relationships? Four female founders reflect on their experiences overcoming entrepreneur guilt and share their tips on staying productive throughout the journey.
As an entrepreneur, there are countless sacrifices that have to be made in both your personal and professional life. Having to cancel certain commitments or dedicating more time to your business than your partner or family can quickly begin taking its toll. While overcoming guilt is no easy feat, it can be done. Here are some useful tips from female entrepreneurs to help you overcome entrepreneur guilt.
Strive For Balance
As a wife and mom of two young children, Audrey Craig, CEO of GB Design House, learned that balance is key when striving to eliminate entrepreneur guilt that wives and mothers often feel.
“Though I may be present in body while my kids are playing, my mind is with the client, and I’m often juggling phone calls too. That leaves a heavy layer of guilt when I go to bed, and I’m waiting for the drawing of our family that my daughter will do at school showing a stick-figure of mommy with a laptop and a phone. But just when I block it all out and spend a well-needed weekend unplugged with my family, I go to bed with the guilt that I didn’t check my emails and come up with new designs for an upcoming event.”
In order to tackle her feelings of guilt, Craig made the necessary changes needed to achieve balance between her professional and personal life.
“What helps me navigate the guilt is to remember that balance is the key. I am a better mom and better business woman when I keep a balance in my life. It’s okay to leave a messy desk at the office if it means I can see my daughter do her first flip-flop at gymnastics. It’s also okay for me to meet with an event planner that just flew in, and not sign up for the second field trip of the semester.”
Decide What is Non-Negotiable
Entrepreneurs are masterful in the art of multitasking and have no qualms about wearing multiple hats in order to get their work done. However, once embarking on certain commitments, it becomes imperative that you see them through to the end– at times costing you the chance to give your time and energy to people or commitments that matter most. Entrepreneur Dethra Giles, Founder of ExecuPrep, quickly learned the importance of deciding which of her commitments were non-negotiable and how to prioritize them into her schedule.
“I own a Performance Management Consulting firm and I am a sought-after keynote speaker with clients across the globe. This means that there are some months that I travel three weeks out of four. My children are growing up and life is moving forward, I am not there and that guilt is hard to bounce back from.”
For Giles, time with family is non-negotiable. She shares some of her tips for prioritizing them amidst her busy schedule.
1.”Be tech savvy: who knew that I would live in the age of the Jetsons. No flying cars but video calls are real. When I am away my kids and I jump on video call quite often.”
2.”A mess is OK: I grew up in a house that was always clean. So, walking into a messy house nearly took me to my grave, but I got over it and hired help. I didn’t grow up with such resources so the idea of having a maid did not sit well with me, but the idea of spending limited but valuable time cleaning my house instead of truly interacting with my family was way more uncomfortable. The times when the maid is not there, I tell myself “I am raising people not clothes so those unfolded clothes will be fine.”
Establish A Strong Team
For Emily Taffel, owner of Mugsy PR, establishing a strong team played an essential role towards easing her guilt by granting her the freedom to spend more time with her family.
“My step kids started hiding my laptop so I wouldn’t work as much and that was my wakeup call. I was feeling guilty for not being with them, but then feeling guilty about not working when I was with them. By building up a strong team and putting in place some procedures to ensure I can step away more often, I have been able to remove some of the guilt and find a better balance.”
Taffel took the initiative to surround herself with responsible, hard-working people who she could trust to help improve the efficiency of her business.
“We brought in very self-motivated people who often times think of an idea or a next step before I do. Instead of trying to lead employees I feel like everyone at Mugsy owns their work. They lead the projects instead of me trying to manage them. There is a lot of creative autonomy here which our team thrives on. We also started using Trello to track projects which allowed me to manage every aspect of things whether I was on-site or not.”
Get Clear on Your Goals
While it is only natural for entrepreneurs to seek more opportunities to scale their businesses, there comes a time when you have to consider that some opportunities may not be aligned with your goals. Liz Toombs, president and owner of PDR Interior, has experienced all sorts of guilt throughout the course of building her business. As her business grew, her guilt stemmed from spending more time working than with her family.
“I don’t know why, as entrepreneurs, and more specifically, as female entrepreneurs we saddle ourselves with guilt. Deep down I know this work is exactly what I should be doing, but for some reason I hold myself to a standard that always requires me to be doing more.”
Over the past few months, Toombs has approached her work life in a more realistic manner by identifying her goals and focusing solely on how to achieve them.
1. “Working with an executive coach who helps me get perspective on what my goals are, why I have set them, where I am in the process of reaching them, and being kind to myself while working on them.”
2. “Opportunities that come my way may be really cool, but every one of them isn’t always going to align with the goals I am working towards. I have experienced burn-out and extreme fatigue from filling my days with things that don’t assist in achieving those goals. I don’t want to feel that way again, so I’m working on politely declining anything that doesn’t make sense for me right now in order to stay sharp and focused.”
Overcoming entrepreneur guilt is not an easy process, but it is to your benefit. Tackling these negative feelings head on will allow you to be your best, most productive self in both your personal and professional life.